Unusual regular exhibition of the female Nobel Prize laureates at the Adligat Book Museum
World literature would be immeasurably poorer and more inequitable without the 15 magnificent Nobel Prize-winning female writers – Selma Lagerlöf, Grazia Deledda, Sigrid Undset, Pearl Buck, Gabriela Mistral, Nelly Sachs, Nadine Gordimer, Toni Morrison, Wislawa Szymborska, Elfriede Jelinek, Doris Lessing, Herta Mueller, Alice Munro, Svetlana Alexievich and Olga Tokarczuk.
This motivated Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Janković to embark on a new endeavour and open an unusual exhibition dedicated to female Nobel Prize winners, the first of its kind in Serbia, at the Adligat Book Museum, on 8th March, the International Women’s Day.
In her opening speech, the Commissioner said that the event sent a strong message about the importance and role of women in all segments of society and highlighted the significance of promoting women’s contribution to literature. “Literature has no borders and opens all doors, but women have still failed to open the door of equality. After the 20th century when women fought for their rights and equality, the 21st century saw women face even more challenges and expectations and often more stereotypes and prejudices that we thought were irreversibly left behind in the past. Promoting equality through changes in cultural patterns is a long and complex process, but there is no prosperity and development of society without recognizing and promoting the importance and role of women,” concluded Brankica Janković.
This unique exhibition, dedicated to female Nobel Prize winners for literature, depicts 9 out of 15 writers. All of the exhibited objects have made it to the Museum thanks to the courtesy and commitment of the embassies of the countries in which these Nobel Prize laureates lived and worked.
The ambassadors of the countries in which the Nobel Prize winners lived also addressed the guests, including the Swedish ambassador, H.E. Jan Lundin, the Norwegian ambassador, H.E. Arne Bjornstad, the US ambassador, H.E. Anthony Godfrey, the German ambassador, H.E. Thomas Schieb, the Canadian ambassador, H.E. Kati Csaba, the Deputy British Ambassador, Rebecca Fabrizi, the Deputy Austrian Ambassador, Sabine Kroissenbrunner and Sem Fabrizi, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia.
The Museum’s salon contains valuable artefacts that depict the work of the mentioned Nobel Prize winners, as well as their original books, photographs and an armchair or a chair from their country which symbolically depicts the value of female artistic creation and the splendour of global artistic diversity.
In her address, Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić talked about the greats of the Serbian culture, science and art, like the first Serbian female architect, Jelisaveta Načić, the first Serbian female doctor, Draga Ljočić, the first Serbian female painter, Katarina Ivanović and many others. In her speech, the Prime Minister also highlighted the importance of the fight for gender equality. Peace is the only segment in which there are more female Nobel Prize winners after literature which speaks volume about women having more common sense in this world, the Prime Minister added.
The Museum’s host and founder, Viktor Lazić, who is also an attorney, a globetrotter and a relentless collector of books, spoke about the most important collections, legacies and artefacts, including those that can’t be found anywhere else in the world but here. Adligat’s abundant collection, which has been created for over two and a half centuries, consists of more than a million books from 90 countries.
Representatives of the diplomatic corps, Rector of the University of Belgrade, Vice-President of the Association of Writers of Serbia and other guests attended the opening of the exhibition.